Scientists relocating for job or research opportunities can often find the transition a challenge. Whether it’s a short-term contract or a permanent move, the logistics are often just the start. Even for the most organized of people, settling into a new city can be the biggest challenge of all. Connecting with people and getting to know your way around are just some of the things that scientists are up against when relocating. 

Getting the logistics organized

Some scientists relocating will have ample time to plan their move and suss things out, whereas for others, it may be a last-minute decision. Getting the logistics of the move in order can be a basic but vital step to a successful relocation. Planning your travel to your new location, visas and travel documents, and sussing out new properties are just the start. 

Many companies do offer relocation services and it is worthwhile inquiring if this is something your company can assist with. Alternatively, professional relocation companies are on hand to make the move less stressful. Whether you need assistance relocating vehicles and luggage, or advice on local banking, it is worth taking advice from the professionals. 

If you would rather take on the task yourself, then make sure you obtain all the relevant information and have it to hand. Expat forums can be useful, but a degree of discernment is sometimes necessary to weed out the irrelevant information. Try to keep everything organized and have all your key contacts to hand.  

Exploring your new location

Once you have arrived at your new location, it is important to get to know the area as it will help you settle in. Relocating can be a daunting task, but knowing a good coffee shop down the road can make things seem more familiar. Take time to explore the different neighborhoods, what they have to offer and which best suits you. 

Take time to visit the sites and do like the tourists do. It will help you navigate around your new location better, whilst helping you build a picture up of the best (and worst) things about your home. No place is perfect, but exploring what your new place has to offer will hopefully help you find things you like to see or do. 

Building up a support network

Being in a new place where you do not know anyone can be daunting for anyone, it takes time to get to know people and to make connections. Look out for Facebook groups or clubs that are of interest and get involved with Expat forums. Having people who can offer advice, share experiences and provide information can be priceless for someone who has just moved to a new location. 

Meeting people in person is equally as important, whether you introduce yourself to your new neighbors, join a club, or a class. Building up support networks with new friends, colleagues, and neighbors can help you settle in quickly. 


Whether you are a scientist relocating for a new job or just doing some research, settling into a new place can be a challenge. Doing the groundwork before moving can make the move itself as painless as possible but often settling in and feeling at home can be the real challenge. Exploring your new location, from investigating the local neighborhoods to going to see the tourist sites, can help you get your bearings. Getting to know people and building up a social network is equally as important, so joining clubs and meeting people with similar interests is a good start to making friends. Keep in touch with people and enjoy what your new location has to offer. 

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